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A note from Arthicern

Episode synopsis: Jericho King goes to the bank. The banking staff, the bank robbers, and his best friend all agree this was a poor decision.

Episode: 1.1

--- Jericho King ---

(I must be out of my fucking mind…)

Jericho shook his head before inhaling.

(Deep breath… breathe… In and out… Stay calm… or else they’ll put a bullet where your face used to be…)

(Okay, that doesn’t help with the keeping calm… right…)

(You can do this.)

(Turn around the corner, shoot the guy in the head… try to ignore the fact you just killed a human being, while remembering he had friend who you need to shoot after murdering his friend in front of him, totally justifying his desire to off you…)

(Bleh, that’s going to leave a bad taste in the mouth…)

(But you want to live, right?)

He shook his head clear.

(Maybe the first guy hated the second guy and vice versa, you probably did them both a favor, before you… ended their lives…)

(Gah! Shut up brain, let our conscience deal with the moral quandaries later while we try to kill people without getting our shit wrecked…)

He took another breath, before shaking his head again.

(Right… need to stay focused, otherwise this ends in death, or jail time… with my luck I’ll drop the soap on the first day…)

A shudder tore through his system.

(Okay… let’s NOT go down that train of thought, ever again.)

(…We’re too pretty for prison…)

He placed the back of his hand against his forehead.

(No, focus…)

His hand ran through raven black hair.

(Right, with those two dead, there are three more guys, plus the boss, and however many hostages they’ve got…)

He bit his cheek.

(Wait, no. Killing hostages is bad. Very bad.)

(They were just minding their own business doing their jobs, when out of nowhere these a-holes broke in trying to rob the place…)

(Which was very rude… didn’t send a notice or something in advance, where’s the consideration, damn it!)

(Eh, I’ll chew their boss out before I shoot him, let him know why I’ve got to kill him.)

(Hold on, going off track again…)

He smacked his head a couple of times.

(Okay. Plan, plan…)

(Okay, with the two guys dead you sneak through the halls and stealth kill the third guy, after all with all the gunfire someone’s going to show up for back up, take a bit of cover and you can go all ninja on the guy who he gets too close…)

(Then two more guys… hopefully greed will beat, out survival instincts… eh, who am I kidding greed always wins that one! Meaning, they’ll keep loading money into the truck outside, probably thinking since the gunshots stopped their guys won.)

(Since I’m on the second floor I can try to do an aerial takedown, using one thug to break my fall as I shoot the other one, and hopefully don’t break my legs in the process.)

(After that just got to kill the boss, save the hostages and get away just like in the video games…)

He rubbed his palms against his eyes, before pinching the bridge of his nose.

(Wait… why am I doing this again)

“Now really isn’t the time to be asking myself that…” he chuckled weakly.

“Who the fuck, are you?!” a voice shouted from his left, where he found one of the guys robbing the bank pointing a gun at him.

“Oh, right… totally forgot I actually haven’t killed you or your friend yet…” he smirked at the guy, eyes locked on the thug’s trigger finger, rather than his gun.

(Maybe planning this out in the bank wasn’t my best idea…)

“What was that?” the thug asked with a glare.

“That was me talking about a plan in which I kill you and your friend over there, wait actually are the two of you friends? Because if you aren’t that would be a massive help as far as my personal moral dilemma goes.” He explained.

He didn’t bother waiting for a response before lunging forward as the thug pulled the gun’s trigger, and bullets ripped through the empty space his head had been a moment before.

Scrambled for his own gun, he clawed for the elusive piece of metal, before wrapping his hand around the firearm, raising it, and shooting the thug twice in the chest. With its ties to the mortal coil severed the newly made corpse to collapsed like a string cut puppet as it… fell on top of him.

(Shit!)

(Heavy weight… can’t breathe…)

He shook his head clear, ignoring the unhelpful thoughts as he tried to focus on getting the dead body off of him.

“Damnit man,” he glared at the corpse, trying to ignore the fact that it was a corpse, “couldn’t you answer my question before trying to kill me?”

“And what question is that?” a voice asked, causing him to jump as he found the other thug, he’d forgotten about with his gun aimed at his head.

(Maybe Mom was right about the ADHD thing…)

“Um,” he blinked, suddenly realizing the situation he’d been found in, before shifting his gaze between the dead thug and the living thug, “Were the two of you friends?”

The thug glanced down at his deceased associate, “No, he was a dick.” He answered finger on the trigger.

“So, I guess I did you a favor, huh?” he laughed nervously, still pinned beneath the corpse.

“I guess you did.” The thug nodded, not lowering the gun.

“Enough of a favor to not shoot me?” he asked, just before a gunshot rang through the air.

“…”

“Okay, I’m going to be honest. The only reason I shot you, is because I totally would’ve shot someone who asked me that question, solely to be a smartass.” He admitted finally managing to roll the first body off of him.

“I know that’s like really bad of me, I shot someone because, I would’ve shot someone if I was in their position… what kind of logic is that? I mean it makes perfect sense to me, but that’s because it’s you know me.” He tried explaining to the guy, who proceeded to ignore him.

Which was fair since he did shoot the thug in the face.

“Right.” He nodded running a hand down his face, “That said, thank you for actually waiting to answer my question before dying, unlike some people.”

He glared at the other body for a moment before giving a nod to the non-dick thug's corpse, “You were right he really was a dick.”

“The hell happened here?!”  someone suddenly shouts from behind him.

He jumped, turning around to find a third thug, “Would you believe these two got into a heated discussion over their poor friendship skills and how much of a dick this guy was, and said discussion escalated until they both shot their guns, before dying.”

“…”

“No… Not buying it?” he asked meekly.

The thug raised his gun, and he realized it was probably in his best interest to dive behind a nearby corner. Something proven correct as even more bullets tried to kill him, (the rude little things.)

He glanced down once the bullets finally stopped, the shooter taking a moment to reload if the clacking was anything to go by, before kicking the corpse of the first thug, “Okay, time for you to quit being a dick.”

With a few careful heaves, he managed to slowly drag the body closer. Until finally pulling it close enough, to slowly lift the dead weight to its feet, all while somehow managing to maintain a grip on it without either him, or it falling out of cover as he somehow managed to lift the corpse to its feet.

A quick glance around the edge of the corner, told him the remaining bank robber was waiting for him to make the next move, which was throwing the corpse out into the hallway.

Several bullets rapidly tore through the already dead body, sending blood into the air as it fell towards the ground.

While the shooter bothered with his already dead target, he went ahead and swung his own gun out before firing roughly at the spot he remembered the shooter, before pulling himself back behind the corner.

“Yo, non-dick he still alive?” he asked the closest corpse, “No? You sure?”

Peeking around the corner, “Yeah, he dead.” He agreed, giving the second corpse a thumb up, before nodding towards the first, “You sir are no longer a dick… and I’ve been talking to dead people for the last five minutes…”

(I wonder if I can talk to my therapist about this, or if he’ll just call the cops on me? I mean technically talking to corpses isn’t a danger to anyone…)

(Though… I did make them corpses…)

(Okay, I don’t think my issues fall under doctor patient confidentiality anymore…)

(Which is just… fucking wonderful…)

He ran a hand down his face.

(Just need the Cheshire to pop up and it’ll really be a crazy day.)

He couldn’t help but shake his head at the problems of a mentally unstable American, before picking himself up and making his way past the three people he just killed.

(Especially since it’s proving a lot easier to get over the fact, I just killed a bunch of people than I’m really comfortable with…)

(Blood… Pain… Knives… Death.)

A chill ran down his spine, as he shook his head clear.

(Inhale… 1… 2… 3… 4…)

(Exhale… 1… 2… 3… 4…)

(Yeah, just going to try not to think about that.)

He took in another deep breath, before steeling himself and continuing through the building. Until he eventually found himself on the second floor of the main lobby.

Catching a movement out of the corner of his eye, he crouched close to the ground before crawling closer to the floor’s edge, hoping to get a better idea of what exactly was going on.

 The floor below was largely empty save a few overturned chairs, and a thug carrying a bag of money out from behind the counters, and towards the front door below.

(Now where’s the other guy…)

He felt something next to his head, to be more specific he felt something cold, metallic, and fully capable of killing him, poking him in the side of his head. A something he was admittedly a little too familiar with having pressed to his head, especially given it was the (third fucking time) to happen today alone.

 “There you are.” He commented as nonchalantly as possible.

 A quick glance at the thug revealed he was indeed leveling a rifle with his head.

(Oh, fun.)

“You guys are much better at playing ninja than me,” Which was a sad tragedy all things considered, (especially since they’re just gang henchmen, not even ninjas, or assassins, I could handle them being better at stealth, but a henchman? What the fuck, man?!)

 

“So, we’ve got some lunatic playing hero, do we?” the thug chuckled, pressing the gun a little more firmly against his skull, an action that he couldn’t help but frown at.

(Well, that’s rude.)

“What no, no, no. No.” he told the armed man as, fell back and tried to scramble a few inches away from the gun.

“Me, play hero? I mean I’m crazy, but I’m not that crazy, and I’m way too selfish to be some good guy selflessly saving people… That said, I can’t actually argue the bit about being a lunatic, like I said I’m coo-coo for a chocolate cereal brand.” He idly rambled with a wave of his hands.

“What the…” What little he could see of the bank robber’s face through the black mask, scrunched up in confusion, letting him buy just enough space for what he had planned.

(This will either be badass or suicidal… I can surprisingly live with either.)

Now that he had enough room to move, he pushed the rifle to the side as he rolled into a crouch, before kicking off the ground and tackling the bank robber. A maneuver that swiftly carried them both into the second-floor ledge, where they scrambled to catch their balance on the ledge. Or rather the thug tried to catch his balance, and Jericho just tried to make sure he didn’t land on the bottom.

The Fall was short enough that the only hit either could manage on the other, was when he managed to smash his elbow into the bank robber’s head just as they hit the ground, resulting in a cracked skull for the thug, and a twitching funny bone for him.

(It feels so weird!)

Cradling his arm, he took a quick glance to check whether he killed the thug, or merely gave him a crippling level of brain damage.

(And… he’s not breathing, maybe that plan was a little suicidal…)

His arm twanged in another weird nerve sensation, as he let himself relax after the brief little scuffle.

(Actually, now that I think about it, I’d probably need like a four story drop if I really wanted to kill myself… or the other guy… yeah, probably better to kill him than me.)

His eyes shot open as a semi-important thought crossed his mind.

(Wasn’t there another guy in this room?)

He lunged at the dead body and threw it over himself, just barely managing to tuck himself into safety as bullets begin hitting the corpse. Bullets shot by the guy he’d completely forgotten about.

(Heavy weight… can’t breathe…)

(Inhale… 1… 2… 3… 4…)

(Exhale… 1… 2… 3… 4…)

Through an act of will he forcibly pushed his claustrophobic tendencies to the side and tried to distract himself from the weight.

(I, um…)

(I can’t really blame him for being rude on this one…)

He idly mulled over the thought as waited for the opportune moment to launch a counter assault against the thus far only semi-non-rude bank robber.

(I am the one who so rudely forget about him, so I can’t really blame him for being as rude back to me… Besides, odds are I’d probably do the same after watching someone kill one of my friends.)

(Crying… Pain… *Bang*… Darkness.)

Another chill ran down his spine as he forcibly shook that memory away.

His ears perked up as he realized the bullets had quit firing more than a moment ago.

(Ah, shit.)

(Hope he hasn’t reloaded yet; this meat shield is about shot.)

A clacking sound cut through his thoughts.

(Clack?)

He paused, before risking a peek over his cover.

(Bullets make more of a rat-a-tat-tat sound, so what’s makes a- OH SHIT! IS THAT GERNADE?!)

In shot of adrenaline, he did the only thing that made any sort of sense to his panicking mind:

(Punch the scary bad thing and hope it doesn’t kill you!!!)

The grenade bounced off his fist and skidded across the ground for a couple more meters before finally detonating in a small sphere of death. And while said explosion wasn’t close enough to actually hurt him, it was still close enough to leave a ringing in his ears.

(Shit, is that, is that tinnitus?)

He tried popping his ears.

(Did that jackass just give me tinnitus?)

His teeth ground together.

(I’m going to fucking murder that jackass!)

He shoved his meat shield away and proceeded to shoot said jackass.

And as the jackass fell to the ground, clutching his chest. Jericho proceeded to pick himself up, walk over to the now harmless and neutralized enemy, take a moment to reload his gun with a fresh clip, and then immediately empty said clip, into said harmless and neutralized enemy.

 Half way through loading his second clip, he couldn’t help but pause as he noticed something relatively important.

(The ringing’s stopped.)

His eyes drifted down to the dead bank robber, and the dozen or so holes riddling his body… namely the five or so in the general area of the groin.

“Okay, I’ll be the first to admit… I may have overreacted.” He confessed to the man he just murdered.

“What’s going on out there?” an angry voice yelled from nowhere.

The sudden noise, in the empty room made him jump and fumble his gun, and after several failed attempts to grab it, dropped it to the floor with a resounding clack.

(Okay…)

He coughed into his hand, and with a quick glance around the room to once more make sure it really was empty, reached down to pick up his gun.

(No, one saw that. So, I’m just going to pretend it didn’t happen.)

“Respond, what’s going on, damn it?!” the voice called again, and this time he noted it was coming from a set of radios carried by both of the dead bank robbers.

He glanced from one body to the other, before shrugging and grabbing one of the radios.

(Why the hell not?)

“One of you jackasses respond right this second or so help me…”

He rolled his eyes.

(Well since you asked oh so nicely…)

He cleared his throat, before putting on an overly chipper tone.

“Hello, hello, I must apologize but the number you are trying to contact is no longer live, if you wish I can direct you to our nearest available Ouija board, so you can get in contact with your deceased party.”

There was a pause, before the angry voice finally answered.

“Who the fuck are you?”

“Hey, the first of your guys I killed asked me the same thing, ain’t that a quinky-dink?” he taunted the boss bank robber, while searching the thugs he killed, hoping to loot something useful, (like more explosives.)

And he did find a grenade on the thug from the second floor.

(Guess they’ve each got a grenade? Eh, doesn’t matter I won’t have time to go back and check the other three until after I deal with the boss…)

He paused before shaking his head sadly.

(Damn it, and this would have been so much more fun with grenades.)

“So, you’re some kind of vigilante, eh?”

“Mm, no, not vigilante.” He glanced at one of the already dead bodies before smirking, “Ain’t that right buddy?”

He kicked the thug from the second floor, faking a grunt of pain as he held the radio away from his face.

“Ah, don’t have anything to say? For shame.” He tsk-ed at the corpse, before shooting the ceiling.

“Oh, well.” He shrugged, before turning back to the radio, “Hopefully you’ll be a little more forth coming.”

There was a pause on the other side of the radio.

“What exactly are you after?” the boss thug growled, whether because he had hurt the thugs, or was threatening said boss, he wasn’t sure.

“Not much…” he admitted, letting his eyes wander around the wrecked lobby, “Though I did think it was kind of rude of you to rob this bank.”

(Now if I was hiding hostages where would I put them?)

His eyes shifted between a few side rooms, and the hall leading to the vault.

(Vault ‘s a bit cliché but it is the most likely place…)

“Rude, heh, well I guess you’ll think it even ruder when I fucking kill you.”

 “Mm…” he took a moment to think about it before shaking his head, “Nah, I kind of deserve it after I you know, killed all your friends.”

(Actually, if I set up this robbery, I wouldn’t bother taking hostages…)

(I’d just pay everyone off to keep their mouths shut, and let me get away before the cops get here; though at this point I don’t think either of those things is going to happen…)

He paused, a frown coming to his face.

(Wait… Hold up…)

“Hey… I have a question.”

“…” the boss thug didn’t respond, so he took that as a sign to continue.

“Where are all the cops?” He glanced through the bank’s, clearly transparent windows and out to the van parked in the street below, and the people idly walking by on the other side of the street as if nothing was wrong.

(I could get the lack of attention if they were loading out the back, but a van being filled with money by guys in ski masks… Doesn’t that raise any flags people?)

“What?”

He sighed at the (un)professional criminal’s confusion, before spelling it out.

“Well, this bank robbery has now lasted about twenty, twenty-five minutes. And I understand we have a crummy police response time in this city, but we’re in a bank, on the preppy rich side of town so why haven’t they swarmed this place, or sent in the Masks?”

“Heh, I’ve already bought off the call center the cops aren’t showing up any time soon, so you’re all on your own.” The lead of this (rather sad) bank robbery sounded proud of that fairly weak threat.

“Oh, fantastic!” he chirped happily, “For a second there I thought I’d have to worry about them sending me to jail for killing you.”

(Because less face it you’re not going down without a fight, besides I’ve committed like ten other crimes tonight, half of which are felonies.)

“You think you can kill me?” the (wannabe) criminal laughed

He pinched the bridge of his nose.

(Great… another arrogant son of a…)

“No, I don’t think I can kill you, I know I can.” He explained before dropping the radio, before the bank robber could piss him off any worse.

(What happened to the guys with class the old man used to talk about?)

(Like, like that De Sade guy. He was an evil prick, who deserves a bullet but at least the man had class, and character beyond this 2-d cut out.)

He ran a hand down his face before shaking his head.

(Quit getting side tracked-ed.)

(Boss idiot should be with the hostages in the back, so now you just got to-)

A door towards the back burst open revealing a very big and (as expected) very ugly boss thug, with a very big and very ugly, as well as unexpected mini-gun.

(Is that a mini-gun?)

A whirring sound, told him: ‘Yes, the big gun about to fuck you up is in fact a mini-gun. Thank you for noticing.’

He dove behind the nearest piece of cover, an armchair that could probably take a bullet or two before being made useless.

(Who the fuck brings a mini-gun to a bank robbery?!!)

Bullets began to tear into the space around him, with a surprisingly poor accuracy for a death machine, (especially since I’m only like ten, twenty meters away.)

He shook his head, trying to focus.

(Alright, I’m literally outgunned at the moment.)

His gun felt heavier in his hand.

(No, that’s not meant to offend you, it’s a rock, paper, scissors type of thing.)

His gun hand shook a little, earning the gun a glare.

(Well, a mini-Gatling gun beats a handgun obviously.)

The gun seemed a little lighter for a moment.

(I don’t know, a rocket launcher?)

He paused for a moment, feeling like there was something wrong, but not sure what.

His gun hand twitched as a series of bullets tore through the chair’s side, earning itself an eye-roll.

(Besides the mini-gun thing.)

He froze, before slowly turning to the hand gun.

(…)

(Okay, I’m having a mental conversation with my gun…)

He ran a hand down his face, as the gunfire began to slow.

(That’s two kinds of crazy at one time… which is one more than I am comfortable with.)

An odd sensation ran down his spine, as he noticed a sudden pressure pressing against his body, one he surprisingly recognized from a high-school party he’d been dragged to where this drunk Deviant had…

(Fuck.)

The pressure doubled down before his body gave a lurch, and was launched six feet into the air, giving him just enough time to see the boss thug with glowing blue eyes and a hand raised towards him.

Dozens of micro-thoughts flashed through his head, as the Deviant criminal slowly turned him in the air, until they were facing each other. All while his attention rapidly shifted between the Deviant and the pressure on his body.

(Deviant.)

(Power type?)

(Arcane?)

His eyes shot to the mini-gun.

(No.)

(Has a gun.)

(Lousy range though.)

The pressure shifted a minuscule amount.

(Psionic?)

(Yes.)

(D-Rank at best.)

(Combat class?)

(Size says Bruiser.)

The thug’s stance was off, tilting a little too much towards the mini-gun.

(False positive.)

(Weapon says Blaster.)

(Power says Tactician.)

(Threat ranking?)

(Low-C, high-D.)

(D-Rank Tactician, used power after shooting, has charge time, object limit, and/or range problems.)

(D-Rank Blaster, mini-gun is unsteady, likely unused to it. Grabbed biggest weapon he could find hoping to intimidate.)

(Fight or flight?)

He subtly flexed his hand.

(Power has a little give.)

(Enough to act, not enough to run.)

(Fight or flight?)

He gave himself a nod.

(Fight.)

(Eliminate threat.)

The boss thug clenched his fist, causing the pressure to increase, before gesturing up and then swinging his hand down with force. An action that resulted in Jericho rising another six feet before slamming into the ground with enough force to leave the taste of blood in his mouth.

(Shit… that hurt.)

The pressure increased again, as he was slowly, and painfully, dragged across the floor and in front of the boss thug. Whom then used his power to pick him off the ground, by his throat.

(Fifty bucks says your copying this from Vader.)

He tried saying this out loud, but apparently the Deviant was smart enough to force his jaw shut, though it did lower the pressure on the rest of his body.

(Hell, I bet you think your B-Rank just because you can knock-off one of Vader’s moves.)

 “So, you’re the smartass who killed all my guys?” the boss thug laughed, in a rather poor attempt at sadism.

He tried his best to nod cheekily, but the uneven pressure was giving him a bit of a crick in the neck at this point.

(Speed through the idiot monologue already.)

The pressure on his throat slowly increased, “Still know you can kill me?”

He couldn’t help but smile, as he twitched his fingers.

“Easily,” (like in the next two minutes, even.)

“Let’s see you say that after this.” The Deviant growled before throwing his arm to the side. This time resulting in the pressure throwing him through a nearby wall, and maybe the wall after that one, he wasn’t entirely sure after the initial head trauma.

 “That hurt…” he whimpered, as the dust began to settle, before blasting all around him as an explosion rang out.

“Though I’m pretty sure that grenade hurt a lot more.” He cackled, lifting his head just enough to see through the hole in the wall and spot the scorch marks on the ground, as well as a few chunks of… (Damn, completely forgot how messy explosions can be…)

“Yep, that easily hurt more.” He nodded twirling a grenade pin around his finger.

(I need to remember that trick next time I see Aiden.)

“Are you here to help us?” a voice asked, rather stupidly given how he was just thrown through a wall before the explosion.

He popped one eye open and glanced to the side, before finally noticing several people tied up, each wearing a mix of both fearful and hopeful expressions.

(Hey look, the hostages.)

He let out small laugh.

(Can’t believe my plan is actually working…)

Slowly (and just a little painfully) he managed to pick himself off the ground, wincing as he accidentally brushed a few cracked ribs as he tried to dust off his black hoodie, though both actions only resulted in him smearing the various blood stains on said hoodie.

(Well that’s presentable…)

“Eh, mister?” one of the hostages called.

“Yes?” he asked, not entirely sure what they wanted with him.

“Have you dealt with all of the bank robbers?” an older man asked him, a hint of fear in his voice.

“There were five plus that one Mask, right?”

Several of them nodded slowly.

“Then yes, I’ve dealt with all of them.” He gave them a firm nod.

Several of them gave each other relieved looks and words, all of which he ignored as he made his way back to the hole in the wall.

“Um, where are you going?” one of the hostages, a blonde woman asked more than a little fear in her voice.

He paused before shrugging.

“I’m going to search the Psionic for his keys.”

“Can’t you just cut our ropes or something?”

“Uh, yeah I could…” he nodded, stopping a step from the wall he’d been thrown through.

(How is my spine intact?)

“Um, aren’t you?”

He blinked before turning back towards the hostages, “Uh, no… I’m not…”

“W-why not?!” A man in red shouted.

Hearing the tone, he took a moment to look at all of the hostages. Each with a look of confusion, causing confusion to slowly show on his own.

(Why would they think I’d…)

(Oh…)

(Oh, they think…)

“Okay… Wow… This is awkward…” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I think there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding…”

“A misunderstanding?” one of them asks in shock.

“Yeah…” he grimaced, adjusting the mask on his face. Just in case.

“What kind of misunderstanding?” a woman asked cautiously.

“You see I’m not here to save you guys…” he tried explaining, while avoiding eye contact with just about anyone.

“You’re not?”

“No… I’m not…” he admitted, glancing away from the awkward situation, only to see more hostages staring at him in a dumbfounded fashion.

“Then why are you here?” a hostage asked more aggressively.

“Um, I’m here to… uh, the bank.” He purposely mumbled his words.

“What?”

“I’m here to rob the bank.”

“…”

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Arthicern

  • A Delightful Denizen of Demented Distinguish

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Justin K @Justin K ago

My two cents: the use of so many italics makes it difficult to read the thoughts and slows down the reading time of the chapter overall. I like the idea, though, of differentiating it.

Jordan Stufflebeam @Jordan Stufflebeam ago

Huh I really like the idea you have going here for kinda an episodic style of writing. It was a fun idea, and I enjoy how you carried it out. This chapter was pretty fun to read over all, I do agree with the comment below about pacing but other than that im looking forward to continuing to read!

    Author

    Arthicern @Arthicern ago

    Yeah, I'll admit the thought heavy pacing works better on the slower, more emotionally driven chapters than these more action driven one. Learning to balance it is the main trick to the style of writing I'm trying to work with.

Thedude3445 @Thedude3445 ago

Okay, I begin my readthrough for this story, and I have to say that this is quite the feisty first chapter, setting up some good superheroics, a very quirky main character, and a good end-of-chapter hook. I'm excited to read the rest of this thing.

My thoughts for Chapter 1, since Chapter 1 is obviously the most important, and the first 5 chapters are vital in hooking readers for the long-run:

1) Like the ADHD protagonist, but maybe a bit TOO overboard in places, because man did this dude have a lot of inner thoughts. I'd remove all of the emboldened (boldened?) lines entirely, because they distract they eye and none seemed to add anything, and then I'd trim about 20-25% of the remaining ones, especially near the beginning. The chapter just went on too long because of them. If your story were just starting, I'd recommend a wholesale rewrite to incorporate all of the inner thoughts into the narration itself, but... don't do this, you are way too far in lol

2) Watch out for commas. Heh, "I’ve already bought off the call center the cops aren’t showing up any time soon, so you’re all on your own.” is one example where there's a comma missing, and I caught several.

3) The character here is never named, right? I think, even so, he should be called something, like maybe "the man in [insert outfit here]", because sometimes it was only "the man" and "he," which made a few sections difficult to parse because the bank robbers were ALSO "the man" and "he."

4) Love the ending.

    Author

    Arthicern @Arthicern ago

    1) Yeah, I agree I went overboard on the thought text here. That said I think some of my future chapters have a better balance between narration and thoughts, since I want the style itself to be introspective for whoever is the active character.

    As for the bold text, it becomes more apparent as the story goes on, but basically what I was going for was:

    - (I'm thinking this) or (voluntary thoughts)

    - (I can't help but think this) or (Instinctive / Trained thoughts)

    I wanted to differentiate the two since not everything you think, is what you want to think. (And those thoughts can add up over time.)

    2 & 3) Commas (whether over or under using them) as well as remembering to name the nameless mooks, always gets me.

    4) Thanks.

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